Yesterday proved to be the loveliest of days. I had the choice of going to watch my son tackle his first triathlon at the excel centre, queue up outside the temple of dreams to collect a duplicate season ticket or watch my horse run at ascot on Dubai Shergar cup day.Since my partner in horse ownership was on his hols and according to the Racehorse Owners Association, when you add up all the costs of ownership, every time a racehorse runs it costs the owner c £4,400, although that was still a lot less than getting my son to the age of 25. Anyway, decisions made, my wife went to the excel centre , my brother went to the valley and I went to ascot.
The scenery at ascot was frankly very lovely in all senses, a beautiful sunny day with lots of horse flesh and well…lots of other very gorgeous flesh and I’m not talking XXL versions of the new home shirt.
The dubai cup is a strange idea to bring new crowds to racing with all the horses being allocated to teams , GB &Eire, Europe & Rest of World. Our horse , Rydan , ran for Europe and we got allocated Olivier Peslier , the brilliant French jockey. When I say brilliant , I mean normally brilliant.
Privileged as I felt to help give Olivier his instructions in the parade ring before the race. When we said drop the horse out the back and press the turbo charge button at the 2 furlong from home marker , perhaps we should have mentioned that the turbo was more Darren Bent than Dennis Rommedahl. Anyway he charged past 5 horses and was just about to pass the 4th when the finishing post arrived rather earlier than we would have liked.
Never mind , it was a good performance from our brave little horse who seems to have regained his mojo after a couple of bad runs.
I sat and had a very pleasant buffet lunch topped of with a couple of glasses of Chardonnay in the Owners lounge. I’ve got to say , it had the edge on Crossbars, but from that moment onwards my thoughts were at the valley.
I drove home and then suffered the agonies of Paul Walsh’s reports on Sky. A fantastic result rounded off a very lovely day. My brother who went, called me with a match report later that night . He was very enthusiastic and optimistic and suggested that in star turn, Kashi , we have an Algerian Ritchie Bowman- that’s one for you oldies…
Playing newly relegated teams early in the season often helps because their momentum is still downward, however , let’s hope we show another committed performance at Derby which will be a tougher test.